RARA-AVIS: Re; Critics again

pabergin (pabergin@gte.net)
Mon, 5 Apr 1999 00:12:02 -0400 Bax opines:

<<I personally see nothing
wrong with mystery writers reviewing mysteries.>>

Nor do I. One of the best crime fiction reviewers ever was Charles
Williford, writing in the Miami Herald. And of course Anthony Boucher, who
is far better known for his criticism than for his fiction work.

Familiarity with a genre is essential if one is to speak/write persuasively,
perhaps even intelligently, about that genre. Too few of our more insightful
crime fiction writers bother with criticism. I don't know if it's because
the money is scant or because they've lined up on Hemingway's side in his
debate with Ezra Pound on the subject of criticism.

It was "Old Hem's" (Pound's term) opinion that you couldn't run with both
the fox and the hounds.

Of contemporary critics, I liked Jean Heller's review of God is a Bullet,
though I disagree with her overall favorable opinion of the book. Lev
Raphael is another fiction writer capable of writing criticism that has
something to say and usually says it pretty damned well.


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